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PA-based organizations lead initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand climate-smart agricultural production

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Pennsylvania food and farm organizations, businesses and research institutions will receive millions in funding for climate-smart initiatives. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program will help farmers implement “climate-smart” production practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with targeted investments for small and underserved producers. The program will also help promote and increase consumer awareness of climate-smart commodities like dairy, beef and eggs, while quantifying emissions reduction benefits.

“Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry is central to our economy. This funding will give a boost to farmers and ranchers as well as manufacturers using climate-smart production to support local economies and increase PA competitiveness while combatting the climate crisis,” said Senator Casey.

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is a public-private partnership that aims to tackle the climate crisis by funding innovative greenhouse gas reduction projects and implementing climate-smart agricultural production across the Nation. Projects will pilot innovative methods to evaluate greenhouse gas reduction and invest in promotion and marketing of climate-smart products. Nationwide, USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion across 70 regional projects. Nineteen of these projects—representing a $900 million investment—will have direct benefits for Pennsylvania.

Project PA Partners National Orgs with PA Presence Major Commodities

Quantifying the Potential to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Increase Carbon Sequestration by Growing and Marketing Climate-Smart Commodities in the Southern Piedmont:

Aimed at the southern piedmont vegetable farming community, this proposal will utilize a interdisciplinary system approach including farmer adoption, understanding economic/social barriers, market/consumer buy-in, utilizing technology and easing burden on farmers. The results of the project will build climate-smart markets, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increases carbon sequestration, increase farmer economic opportunities and adoption of climate-smart agriculture.
Rodale Institute N/A Vegetables

Connected Ag Climate-Smart Commodities Pilot Project:

This project will expand climate-smart markets for many agricultural commodities and provide direct payments, technical assistance, and data management strategies to producers of row crops, beef, dairy, pork, and other commodities to adopt climate-smart practices and strategies.
Farm Journal, Inc Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Ducks Unlimited, National Pork Board Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Cotton, Potatoes, Beef, Dairy, Pork, Small Ruminants, Specialty Crops 

Climate-smart Agriculture that is profitable, Regenerative, Actionable, and Trustworthy (CARAT):

This project will enable partners to expand climate-smart markets and work with dairy producers in PA to implement climate-smart agriculture. An overarching goal is establishing successful and profitable partnerships between diverse producers, including underserved producers, and consumers, leading to a reduction of greenhouse gases, suppressing CH4 & N20 emissions, and storage of carbon.
Pennsylvania State University - University Park, Center for Dairy Excellence, Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, Red Barn Consulting N/A Dairy

Climate-Smart Farming & Marketing: Engaging in Community-Science:

This project brings together 20 farming and agroforestry organizations, serving over 20,000 small- to mid-scale and underserved farmers who are uniquely impacted by climate change. The project will include soil health and financial benchmark community science; peer-to-peer learning and support; expanded implementation of climate-smart practices; carbon benefits calculation and verification; and, income stream innovations that result in increased sales from farms and forest lands that use and promote climate-smart practices.
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), Pennsylvania Certified Organic, Western PA Conservancy, Keystone Tree Crops Cooperative, Keystone Cooperative Development Center, Kimberton Whole Foods, Kitchen Table Consultants, Pa Flax, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Soil Health Coalition, Stroud Water Resource Center, TeamAg National Fish and Wildlife Foundation  Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Flax, Livestock, Agroforestry, Specialty crops

Alliance to Catalyze Transition Incentives through Open Networks for Climate Smart Agriculture):

This project will develop the systemic tools and approaches necessary to catalyze change by operating in three areas simultaneously: equipping and training Technical Service Providers for CSA implementation, creating transition finance incentives for producers, and developing a robust and self-sustaining marketplace for climate smart commodities.
Rodale Institute, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Conservation Fund, General Mills, The Center for Good Food Purchasing, National Young Farmers Coalition, Field to Market, AFT Beef, Dairy, Wheat, Rice, Specialty Crops

Climate Change:

This project will expand climate-smart markets and help finance partnerships and incentivize farmers to advance the Organic Valley Carbon Insetting Program. Organic Valley will use two strategies to reduce supply chain emissions: mitigate GHG emissions and maximize opportunities for carbon sequestration, focusing specifically on dairy and eggs as the climate-smart commodities.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

American Farmland Trust, Interlace Commons

Dairy, Eggs

Climate SMART (Scaling Mechanisms for Agriculture’s Regenerative Transformation):

This project, which will reach across 28 states, aims to catalyze a self-sustaining, market-based network to broaden farmer access, scale adoption of climate-smart practices, and sustainably produce grain and dairy commodities with verified and quantified climate benefits.
Hershey, Tate & Lyle American Farmland Trust, Farm Credit Council, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences, Nestle Purina, Perdue, Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Campbell Soup Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Cotton, Dairy

Engaging Family Forests to Improve Climate-Smart Commodities (EFFICACI):

This project will address the relationship between family forest owners, the forest products industry, and broader climate goals across the eastern US. The goal is to build a region-wide CSC forest program that leverages the field-tested Family Forest Carbon Program, an engaged and trusted landowner network, and advanced digital forestry tools to engage traditional and underserved partners and advance the production and marketing of CSC forest products.
N/A The Nature Conservancy, Women Owning Woodlands Timber, Forest Products

Expanding Agroforestry Production & Markets:

This project will build climate-smart markets and increase capital investments in tree planting that will increase the supply of agroforestry commodities utilizing a network of leaders in forestry. Working directly with manufacturers and retailers to connect potential buyers with producers (including underserved producers).
Lincoln University The Nature Conservancy, Cargill Nuts, Berries, Beef, Fruit Trees, Forest Products

Farmers for Soil Health Climate Smart Commodities Partnership:

This project proposes to accelerate long-term cover crop adoption by creating a platform to incentivize farmers. The platform will quantify, verify and facilitate the sale of ecosystem benefits, creating a marketplace to generate demand for climate smart commodities.
N/A National Association of Conservation Districts, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation  Corn, Soybeans
Incentivizing Climate-Smart Growing Practices, Expanding Climate-Smart Markets and Developing Brand Awareness: This project will use selected practices from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to educate, train, incentivize, and measure farming practices that reduce greenhouse gases, as well as brand and develop a market for climate-smart commodities. N/A Ingredion, Corteva Agriscience  Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Dairy, Poultry, Beef, Pork, Specialty Crops

Low Carbon Beef USDA Pilot Program: A Fully Integrated Lifecycle Approach to Reduce GHG Emissions from Beef Cattle at Commercial Scale:

This project will help to implement climate-smart methods in beef production, reducing GHG emissions and generating carbon credit revenue for producers
N/A ABS Global, Elanco Animal Health Inc Beef, Grass

Producer Led Collaborative Effort to Fundamentally Transition the U.S. Beef Supply Chain to Carbon Neutral:

This eight-state project will amplify production of climate-smart beef by expanding market drivers, grassroots support networks, and early adopter mentors and providing technical assistance for the adoption of Climate-smart grazing practices to substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. The project will also support farmers in protecting their land through permanent easements to help ensure that the soil health and climate benefits from those practices continue far into the future.
Pennsylvania Grazing Lands Coalition American Farmland Trust, Mountains to Bay Grazing Alliance Beef

Scaling Methane Emissions Reductions and Soil Carbon Sequestration - A Value-Added Commodities Approach for United States Dairy:

Through this project, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) climate-smart pilots will directly connect the on-farm greenhouse gas reductions with the low-carbon dairy market opportunity. DFA will use its cooperative business model to ensure that the collective financial benefits are captured at the farm, creating a compelling opportunity to establish a powerful self-sustaining circular economy model benefiting U.S. agriculture, including underserved producers.
N/A Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Unilever, Dairy Management Inc., National Milk Producers Federation  Dairy

Strengthening Grassroots Leadership & Capacity to Scale Climate-Smart Production Systems and Facilitate Historically Underserved Producers' Access to Markets:

This project will work through its network of 3,000 conservation districts throughout the nation to grow and advance grassroots efforts to ensure producers and local communities are prepared to meet the demand and have access to climate-smart commodity markets.
N/A National Association of Conservation Districts, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, Field to Market Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Sorghum, Rice, Livestock

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Innovative Finance Initiative:

This project, covering more than 30 states, will use innovative finance mechanisms to accelerate climate-smart practice uptake by farmers, leveraging private sector demand to strengthen markets for climate-smart commodities. Partners will provide technical assistance and additional financial incentives to a diverse array of producers across a range of commodities, tying climate-smart practices to commodity purchases and creating a scalable model for private sector investment.
N/A Field to Market, Environmental Defense Fund, PepsiCo, Farmers Business Network, Nutrien Ag Solutions Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Peanuts, Wheat, Potatoes, Barley, Sorghum, Alfalfa, Peanuts, Rice, Sugarbeets, Livestock

The Growing GRASS & Climate-Smart Value-Added U.S. Commodity Markets Project (Growing GRASS Project):

This multi-year project will pilot, test and evaluate how the GRASS supply chain can be optimized for value and climate performance from farm and ranch to markets, starting with the greenhouse gas benefits of grazing systems.
N/A American Grassfed Association, Autocase  Beef

The Mid-Atlantic Conservation Innovation Fund Climate-Smart Commodities Project:

This project will help expand climate-smart markets and address climate-smart plans and practices for hundreds of dairy producers and will provide an on-ramp and serve as a catalyst for additional state and private capital to bolster the implementation of whole farm plans.
Stroud Water Research Center, TeamAg, RedBarn Consulting, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Dairy, Beef, Forage

Transforming the Farmer-to-Consumer Supply Chain with Climate Smart Agriculture Partnerships:

This program will focus on creating end-to-end supply chain partnerships to optimize the value of climate smart commodities, focusing on dairy feedstock and including a manure management component.
Swampy Hollow Farms Danone North America Dairy, Soy, Oats